Aloha Friday Message – December 21, 2018 – The End of it All …

1851AFC122118 – The End of it All, 2018 Advent Series #4

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Matthew 24:36  36 “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Nineteen-month-old Jenna waddled over to Liz, her mom, and raised her chubby arms. “Mama carry me.” Liz scooped her up in one practiced motion, stationed Jenna on her left hip, and went on with fixing breakfast for Jackie, her brother, and John, her husband. Jenna snuggled against Liz, stuck out her left hand, and said, “Um!” “Use your words, sweetie,” her mom said as she transferred a corner of toasted bread from Jackie’s plate to Jenna’s outstretched fingers. “Um! Um!” Jenna mashed the toast into her mouth and held out her hand for more.

*-+-*-+*-+-*-+*-+-*-+*

Frank left the betting counter in the sports bookie lounge grumbling about “not fair,” and “it wouldn’t kill you,” as the bookie shook his head in disgust and disbelief saying, “I can’t believe he actually expected us to carry him until next game! What does he think we are, Chase-Manhattan?” Frank turned and glared at him, and then banged his way through the door and out into the sleet and rain which effectively hid the tears he shed because once again, Christmas for his wife and kids would be pretty stark. He’d make it up to them, though. Yes. He would.

*-+-*-+*-+-*-+*-+-*-+*

James was absolutely worn out. He and his older brother Eddie had been walking for days it seemed. Even though James knew it had only been three, or maybe four, hours, he was barely able to take one step after another. Eddie had said they should stay put and wait for someone to find them, but James started crying and wanted to go look for the rest of the Eddie’s Scout Troop. James had been invited along to explore joining Troop 561 as a Tiger Cub, and now he was sure they wouldn’t accept him. He tripped and fell suddenly, and Eddie reached to pull him up. James, angry because he was embarrassed, growled, “You don’t have to carry me, Eddie. I can make it on my own!”

*-+-*-+*-+-*-+*-+-*-+*

Many years ago, a score of centuries in the past, a Messenger named Gabriel spoke to a teenager named Mary and said – in effect – “God has a request for you. He says, ‘Please, carry me.'” Mary said, “Whatever you ask, I will do. Whatever you do, I will accept.” And so she carried Emanuel in her virginal womb, and all her life she carried God’s Son, and our Brother through adoption, Jesus, in her heart and after his death, she once again carried him in her arms.

*-+-*-+*-+-*-+*-+-*-+*

Do you remember what happened on December 21, 2012 – or rather what didn’t happen? That was supposed to be the end of the world. If you are reading this, and if you are all in one piece, then the world did not end – for you at least. There are hundreds of thousands of people who will die today, and it is the end of the world for them. For you and me, it is perhaps the end of an era, or even something more mundane – the end of the week. Tomorrow we’ll do laundry, clean the garage, maybe have to shovel snow out of the driveway, and try to finish up our Christmas shopping. Sunday, we’ll go to church – you will won’t you? – we’ll listen to the sermon and try to remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season even if we never did find a music box for Aunt May. But today as we cart our gifts to relatives’ houses or to the post office (too late!), and as we remind ourselves to take the turkey out of the freezer to thaw in the refrigerator, we easily forget; we have another request pending: “Carry me.”

That is the end of it, Beloved; Carry me. WE all remember the masterful work originally written by Mary Stevenson in 1936 called Footprints in the Sand. We remember that when there was only one set of footprints in the sand, that was when Jesus was carrying us. A good and true image of how God works in our lives to protect and sustain us, this story of Footprints in the Sand is often a source of comfort in times of trial.

But, we are also called to be “Christ-Bearers.” Mary came to be known as the Θεοτόκος, Theotokos, {theo-to’-kes} God-Bearer. I am, you are, we are also called to be Theotokos in accordance with the measure of Grace which God has given us to carry the Word, the λόγος – Logos – the Christ, for God’s words are Spirit and Life, and God’s Word of Life is Jesus whom Mary carried in her womb until he was born alive as a human, and then in her heart as he became and remains resurrected and alive. Now he also asks to be carried in our hearts. Can you, can I, can we carry him with the love, the faith, and the eternal commitment and purity Mary had and has when she carried him in her womb and in her heart? Perhaps, if we are very, very blessed (Blesséd are you among women), but even if we cannot match Mary’s fervor or her measure of the Graces of Faith and Obedience, we can make room for Jesus as she did:
Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown, (↔ Music Link)
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity:
Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus!
There is room in my heart for Thee;
Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus, come,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

And that is The End of It All, Beloved. Simply say “Yes” when God says to you, “Carry me.” It is not a question. It is not a command. It is sort of a request. Most of all, it is an instruction. It is simply, “carry me.” Everything else, anything else, is suddenly secondary. Will you take a moment now, please, and imagine the moment Mary looked out the window at Jesus rough-housing with Joseph. Mary calls out, “All right you ruffians! It’s time for dinner. Come in and wash up.” Joseph rises and extends both hands to Jesus saying, “Come on, Yeshua, it smells good in there. Let’s see what your mama’s gotten ready for us.” Jesus runs and skips over to Joseph and tackles him around the knees saying, “Aw, Abba, let’s wrestle one more time!” “No, son, we need to get inside. Come on. Let’s go.” “OK, Abba. Carry me?”

And Mary smiles as she turns away from the window. She was the first one ever, in all Eternity, to be asked by God, “Carry me?” She helped carry him to Jerusalem those first six years. Although she did not yet know then, from ages seven through age eleven he would carry himself. At age twelve, he would turn back to the Temple as he began to understand more clearly, “I am here to carry God my Father into the presence of these my brethren.” A little tear touches the corner of Mary’s eye just as Joseph ducks through the low door with Jesus over his right shoulder – the same shoulder upon which Jesus would later carry his cross. But today, for Mary and Joseph, carrying Jesus was just part of living, just part of loving him and loving each other.

There is nothing else to do. If you carry him, you will have room only for him, strength only for his instructions, love only in his Love. He will become in you The Word of God, and that will be Spirit and Life. It is the End of It All because it becomes Eternal in God when the world comes to Judgment.

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a … reward.

But what about the times you need to be carried? Will Jesus still lift you to carry you across the sand? And is that sand by the beach, or is it in the desert? Yes, Jesus will carry you and through the miraculous Mystery of the Incarnation, you will also carry him, Emanuel – God-With-Us. You will be in this World, but not of it. Even if the World does end, you will not, and that is the Truth; remember YOLO-F. You will receive your Eternal Reward, and that is the Truth. As Frank Peretti has said, “There has to be a Truth that is fixed and objective and separate from you, it has to be true whether you believe it or not, it has to be true whether you like it or not, it has to be true whether you have ever heard of it or not… it’s just true.” The truth is that when you carry Christ, you carry Truth.

LIGHT ≡ GOD ≡ LOVE ≡ TRUTH ≡ WAY ≡ LIFE ≡ FOREVER

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved.

I’ll be back again just before Epiphany. Meanwhile

May Hope, and Peace, and Joy, and Love
Be yours through the coming of
The Christ Child

Carry Me …

Isaiah 49:15 15 Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. God will always love us the way he loves Jesus. Romans 8:38-39For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 When this …

… became this, 

 

 

 

 

 

 

then God remembered every promise he had ever made, and that is definitely worth our remembering and celebrating! It is so important that we also remember that at the end of it all there is an Eternal Celebration, an Everlasting Banquet of Love.

YOLOF → HEHappily Everafter!

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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